tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC December 2, 2011 6:00am-7:00am PST
piece of toast. in a conventional toaster where you push the button down you don't put the butter on first. plain and simple. man has a toaster from the 1950s. >> i do actually. >> what did you learn. >> i learned, well i learned that michael steele figures out what republicans are thinking in starbucks. >> okay. >> great. >> i'm not going to let that go for a while. willie, if it is way too early what time is it? >> "morning joe" and have a great weekend. we'll see you monday. stick around for "the daily rundown" with chuck. unemployment rate shocker. huge drop from 9% to 8.6%. what's behind the drop? some folks gave up looking but also big revisions up from previous months on adding jobs. that trend line is a big one for the white house. newt being newt, he says he'll be the nominee, period. he makes some surprising comments about the work ethic of poor americans. while mitt romney sticks to his
message, gingrich takes the conversation wherever he wants. will newt find the discipline to actually back up in his words about being the nominee? remember that talk about how there was enough middle ground on capitol hill to get something done on the payroll tax cut extension? maybe we're giving congress too much credit this week. competing votes last night came up way short. it's friday, december 2nd. 2011. this is "the daily rundown" and i'm chuck todd. let's start with the november jobs report, the big number takes a big dip in the unemployment rate. it falls to 8.6%. that's the lowest rate since march, 2009. 120,000 jobs were added overall. but over 300,000 people gave up looking for work. that means they weren't counted as unemployed. now, one month does not make a trend but that 8.6% number will grab a lot of headlines today. look at the economic and political implications all throughout this hour starting with of course our friend over at moody's analytics the chief
economist there, everybody's favorite economist in washington, mark zandi, in just a few minutes and also we'll have white house economic adviser allen kruger later in the show when it is legal for him to go on the air and talk about the report publicly. let's get right to my first read of the morning. from the campaign trail, where mitt romney is mr. discipline. he's criticized for being unwilling to stray off his talking points sometimes too much so. better or worse newt will be newt. he is prepared to start a conversation no one else wants to have and just keep talking. in iowa, double down on an extremely radical proposal, unquote-quote. he made last month at harvard when he said children as young as 9 should be encouraged to work by replacing adult janitors at schools. >> really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working. and have nobody around them who works. so they literally have no habit of showing up on monday. what if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit at the
clerical office? and greet people when they came in? what if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian? what if they -- and i pay them as early as is reasonable and practical. >> now, gingrich explained last night saying he was, quote, not talking about going back to the 19th century situation but yesterday he also made this strong statement against long-term unemployment insurance which is actually being debated on capitol hill this month. >> i think that giving people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing is essentially destructive and it is both harmful to them, harmful to society, and a waste of your money. between 20% and 40% of the people in unemployment drop off and go find a job the morning you establish that they can't get the money for doing nothing. >> look, yesterday was an example of classic newt. at the core of what gingrich was trying to say is something everybody can agree on. kids need to learn a work ethic. it is good for kids to learn how to do a work ethic, save their own money. it was the broad brush
stereotype he painted of poor neighborhoods, of poor children, of poor parents. a lot of those folks do work a lot of jobs and that is what some people took offense to. meanwhile, mitt romney flaunting his establishment credentials. paid a visit to former president george h.w. bush. i love those dogs. in texas, houston, texas. he didn't come away with an endorsement per se. moments ago on fox news romney responded to gingrich's claim yesterday that he will, quote, be the nominee, period. >> you know, there is this funny thing in america. it's called an election. you have to win the election. to win the election you got to earn it. you got to get out and campaign, see the people, shake their hands. self-agrandizing statements about polls are not going to win elections. >> as you can see, every day this week the gingrich/romney folks have turned up the knob a little bit on trying to poke at gingrich. in fact, in the same interview romney said america does not need a, quote, better lobbyist or a better insider.
really trying to paint the gingrich experience particularly in the post speakership of starting all those businesses, office on "k" street, doing work for freddie mac, as a negative, believing that the gingrich inside washington credential will be worse to some conservative primary voters than romney's shaky conservative credentials. if it comes down to these two, and we're always hesitant to say this is actually the final but we may be getting there, that is going to be the decision conservative voters have to make. what's worse? a washington insider or a nominee who may not have the conservative credentials you're looking for? all right. day of reckoning later today. herman cain will meet face to face with his wife gloria in georgia, first time since the latest allegations surfaced last monday. campaigning in new hampshire thursday cain admitted to "the union leader" editorial board that he never told his wife about a 13-year friendship and he never told his wife about the
money that he gave to this atlanta business woman ginger white. now, he did acknowledge they've exchanged -- there were 70 text messages he received. he responded to about 17 of them. between october and november of this year. but he insisted they contained nothing inappropriate. >> she wasn't the only friend that i had helped in these tough economic times. and so her messages to me were relating to, you know, needing money for her rent or whatever the case may be. i don't remember all the specifics. >> as for white, on the last word, with lawrence o'donnell last night, she continued to insist there were more, the two of them were more than just friends. >> it wasn't a love affair. it was a sexual affair. as hard as that is for me to say, and as hard as it is for people to hear it, you know, it pretty much is what it is. i'm surprised that he hasn't --
that he is treating me as if i'm lying about this, that does bother me. >> and for cain's future as a candidate, if actions speak louder than words it appears he plans to stay in the race. his super pac is releasing this unusual new tv ad in iowa today quoting a lie detector expert. take a look at this. >> it's time for the truth. the media won't tell you what one of the foremost lie detector experts in america said about herman cain. >> from my exam he is being truthful. but the allegations of saying she has been sexually assaulted by him do not -- >> finally, a former front-runner, rick perry still trying to use humor to recover from the infamous brain freeze debate moment. he appeared last night with jay leno. it's pretty good stuff. >> thanks for coming. you provided us with a lot of material. i appreciate you being here. >> it's what i do. >> perry's campaign even got a special tv ad that targeted iowa viewers of "the tonight show" and it ran right before and
right after last night's broadcast. it's very funny. >> i'm rick perry. what's that line again? i'm rick perry. and i approve of this message. >> to go back, since the brain freeze, the perry campaign has handled this moment about as well as you can but he's got no traction from it since. let's dig deeper into the big news of the morning, the dip we saw in the unemployment number this morning and what these new numbers mean for our economic future. of course there is nobody better to talk to on this than mark zandy chief economist for moody's analytics. okay. the headline is going to be something that raises a lot of eyebrows, makes a lot of people feel better. dig into the numbers. how good really was this report? >> good. but not as good as the decline would suggest. it's good because it's -- it indicates we got more jobs during the month so job growth was positive. it was a pretty solid job gain, but the decline also occurred because fewer people were out there looking for work.
that's not a good sign. usually when people are confident, think they can find a job, they come into the labor force. so the 9% to 8.6%, you know, that is a really good number. i'll take it. it's not as good as it looks. >> let's dig in deeper here. some of the up numbers, retail 50,000. was that business services 33,000, health care up, construction, though, down 12,000. i want to focus on two -- retail -- a lot of people asking already this morning how much is this uptick simply seasonal? >> the bureau of laib statistics the keeper of the data does seasonally adjust the data so they try to account for seasonal hiring. what this says is that the hiring that occurred in november is greater than they would normally expect in a november lead up. >> okay. >> so probably over states the case a bit but, you know, i think it is a reasonably good number. the declining construction, that probably overstates the weakness there, too, because actually construction activity, believe it or not, six years into the
housing crash, is now beginning to pick up. we are starting to see more construction of apartment buildings and even nonresidential properties like office buildings and retail malls, those kinds of things. i do expect to see some construction jobs as we make our way into next year. >> now, part of this big tick down in the unemployment rate has to do with more revisions and here is another thing. a lot of questions i get. we're just amateurs here. you're the expert. how do they miss sometimes so big on some of these numbers? can be off by 100,000 jobs. i mean, i simply keep -- i continue to go back to that, remember the august infamous zero report which of course politically was just a stomach punch to the president turned out that report was just wrong. >> yeah. you know, it's based on a survey of establishments and businesses and, you know, businesses put their data back to the bureau of labor statistics sometimes a
little late. they don't get all the information in as quickly as they would like. so as they get more of the survey responses in, and they get the data together they make provisions. it is very encouraging that we are getting upward revisions. it suggests small businesses, those would be those late in reporting in all likelihood, are starting to kick in. they've been the missing link throughout this recovery. the fact that we are getting revisions along with other evidence suggests we are getting small business job growth and that is a big plus. >> all right. mark zandi, moody's analytics i have to leave it there. i always appreciate you come on when we get this monthly report. thank you, sir. still ahead we'll get team obama's take on the november jobs report from white house top economic adviser alan kruger. we'll have the first interview when he legally can do it. i'll explain that. it's back to the drawing board on capitol hill after efforts to extend the payroll tax break fall short. plus, an exclusive first look at an interesting focus
group. hear what actual voters are thinking about the republican presidential candidates. who do they call the black sheep of the family? and who do they call their favorite uncle? which candidates' morals get a favorable rating? first a look ahead at the president's schedule. he's going to be with bill clinton in about an hour or two when he comments on those unemployment numbers. he's doing a tour. not even bothering going to maryland. usually it's a maryland trip for the monthly jobs report. he is sticking in d.c. touring the building and will have those remarks. [ male announcer ] nature valley
♪ with the lowest national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to walmart.com for details. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. i've tried it. but nothing helped me beat my back pain. then i tried salonpas. it's powerful relief that works at the site of pain and lasts up to 12 hours. salonpas.
cut holiday is still unclear. the senate voted down two proposals one from each party that would have funded the tax cut holiday for another year. the democratic proposal, which included a millionaire's tax fell nine votes short of the necessary 60. check out the rmcconnell. it got just 20 plus votes with 78 opposed. more than two dozen republicans voted against that basically saying no tax cut no matter how you pay for it or they didn't like how you pay for it. that leaves it up to the house and speaker boehner potentially. >> i am not an economist. i don't know the impact on the economy. it's just that i do believe there is enough common ground between where the white house and democrats are and where republicans are for us to move this legislation and do so quickly. >> with me now pennsylvania democratic congressman jason altmeyer. nice to see you. thanks for coming in. >> thank you, chuck. >> it does seem we have bipartisan agreement to extend the holiday but some
disagreement on two fronts, one how to pay for it and, two, whether to expand it to employers. where are you at on this? >> i think we definitely need to extend it. there is no question we are -- >> we are in a 4.2% payroll tax which is down from 6.2 extend it for one more year. we're in the fragile recovery. we had good employment news today. this is not the time i think on the payroll side to allow that to expire. >> that's agreed upon. it seems we do have a super majority. >> right. >> at this point in agreeing on that point. the disagreement is to pay for it and the extension. first hit me with the extension. where are you on that? >> if you want to bring it over to the employer side that's a debate we can have. if you want to bring it down to 3.1% which is half of where it usually is at 6.2 that's another issue. i would like to see the pay for on that. i think it makes sense to apply it to the employer but at some point the cost is going to add up on that. but i think allowing it to expire is not an option. >> where were you on a millionaire's surtax? >> i don't want to pay for it
through a millionaire surtax. we'll have the debate on the bush tax cuts next year. they all expire at the end of 2012. i think the public overwhelmingly supports allowing the top tax bracket to expire. i'm willing to have that debate. i don't think adding the surtax right now is the right answer. >> senate republicans say, the white house claims that version was a balanced approach and they say no it wasn't because there were no cuts. do you believe there should be both maybe getting rid of some tax loop holes and cuts in order to pay for this? >> whenever we do comprehensive tax report perhaps lowering the corporate rate dealing with the capital gains rate some of the other big tax issues, yes. we need to lower some of those rates as well and reduce spending. that's not what this is about. this is about a tax that is about to expire. >> right. >> it needs to be extended for one more year. >> right. so how do you pay for this, your favorite idea? >> i don't like the surtax. i don't want to use the federal employees as the senate put forward. >> right. >> if you want to go into this overseas contingency fund which some people view as an accounting gimmick but it is going to be used for something we can look at that.
>> selling spectrum? >> perhaps. >> okay. >> something like that. but it's $120 billion cost just to extend the current payroll tax which is why i say if you extend it beyond that you get into big numbers. >> so at this point you think realistically you can only do the extension not the expansion? >> i think that's where we're going to end up. >> all right. quick political question. you comfortable running with president obama at the top of the ticket in western pennsylvania? >> i won in 2008 in a district president obama lost by 11 points so i don't view that as something that is going to impact the way people perceive me and the people i'm going to run. i don't know what president obama will do in the state of pennsylvania. >> how nervous should his campaign people be? >> i think in western pennsylvania he is not as popular ased' like to be and statewide polls are showing he is not doing very well right now. >> one other reason you're here. >> yeah. >> we made a little football bet. probably would have made a bigger deal of it but frankly the whole world of ncaa sports is, you know, you're a florida
state alum. you played on the football team. i'm just a university of miami super fan. we bet on the game but before we get to the -- to how we are solving, resolving this bet, the penn state scandal is obviously having an impact. have we allowed these institutions and football to become too big? >> i'm from pennsylvania. so we hear about this story every day and it has definitely put in perspective the significance of the academic and the research side of universities and the distraction that football and sports are meant to be for the spectators. obviously for student athletes it's a part of their experience there. but what has happened at penn state has really demonstrated that there are other things that are happening at universities that are much more important than what's happening on the playing field. unfortunately, it looks like they may have allowed that balance to be a little bit out of whack. >> all right. we bet -- we've claimed that we both won. >> right. >> florida state beat miami. >> right. >> but i say, hey. they covered the spread. we're not saying gambling matters but they were -- the
noles were ridiculously favored by ten points. >> from pittsburgh they have a saying it's not whether you win or lose but whether you cover the spread. i think we came to a draw. >> we did and we are both contributing money to each other's favorite charities here. yours is? >> american legion homeless veterans fund. >> all right. and mine is samaritans inn right here in washington, d.c. >> right. >> we both are writing checks now. i don't have big checks here. i just have small ones. anyway, thank you. >> thank you, chuck. >> all right. coming up, failure to connect. we've got the inside scoop from voters and it's crystal clear why mitt romney has stalled in the polls. we'll tell you which candidate makes voters think of their favorite uncle. but first today's trivia question. excluding at large districts, what is the largest congressional district by area? actual geographic size, folks. send the answer oit chuck todd at daily rundown. more coming up. i wouldn't do that. get married?
no, i wouldn't use that single miles credit card. nice ring. knock it off. ignore him. with the capital one venture card you earn... double miles on every purchase. [ sharon ] 3d is so real larry. i'm right here larry. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. really? a plaid tie? what, are we in prep school? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? i was gonna say that. uh huh... ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪ nothing melts away the cold like a hot, delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup from campbell's. ♪ let it snow, let it snow i took some steep risks in my teens. i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor.
numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. [ man ] still love that wind in my face! talk to your doctor. don't kid yourself about the risk of heart attack and stroke. if lipitor's been working for you, stay with it. lipitor may be available for as little as $4 a month with the lipitor co-pay card. terms and conditions apply. learn more at lipitorforyou.com. gives you the lowest plan premium in the country... so you can focus on what really matters. call humana at 1-800-808-4003.
matter which position i am in i wake up feeling good. it fits you so peectly... it fits you. you wake up and you're revived and rejuvenated. it's just like wow! tempur-pedic the most highly recommended bed in america. tempur-pedic is rated #1 in comfort. sleep satisfaction. and back support. it fits the curvature of your body but you don't sink in and it is firm. proprietary tempur material suppresses motion transfer. this means that when you get in or out of bed, you won't disturb your partner. that's amazing. that's amazing. tempur-pedic, the most highly recommended bed in america. call the number on your screen.
here is a simple way to explain why mitt romney can't seem to feel the love from republican voters. a dozen of them in virginia were asked to describe him as if he was a part of their family. one description of romney? the dad that was never home. newt gingrich on the other hand was described as a favorite uncle. our guest conducted the focus group and also with me msnbc's deputy political director mark murray who watched the group in person. gentlemen, unbelievable stuff. exclusive first look on television. we know first read readers obsessively already reading about it. we gave it away. this is a group of republican voters. give me a summation of the type of republicans we have. >> conservative tea party movement people and moderate republicans so it was a nice, nice cross section, very middle income versus upper income.
>> all right. so full screen here what we have of the romney strengths. people would say about him he's moral character, strong leader, rolls up his sleeves, role model. >> very good. in other words, here is a person who on a professional basis they think quite well of. the problem is on a personal basis they can't relate to him. and there is a gulf and one of my favorite questions as i said, let's suppose romney were sixth person in line and he needed to be on that next plane? what would he do? four years ago he would have negotiated. that's what we were told, to get there. you know what he is doing now? he is buying the plane, buying the airline. so it is a sense of that kind of gulf. >> a few other of romney's weaknesses that the group pointed out, they called them in here, the actual phrase is not strong enough. rhino, which is of course republican in name only. wishy washy. romney care. i want to get to newt gingrich. mark murray, you were struck. that was the thing that surprised you the most was that
gingrich description among his strengths, proven track record, knows how the system works, negotiator. pretty good stuff. >> there was a lot of passion for newt in the group and that really did strike me. as peter observed he wore on really well as the evening progressed during the focus group. another thing peter handed out all the different opo on romney, perry, newt gingrich, and the stuff about newt gingrich whether his marriages or some of his flip-flops or even his past work for freddie mac, didn't concern the focus group as much as romney's negatives, his own flip-flops, so that was really striking. >> you know, on the weaknesses the morals and marriages, that was the two things that didn't pop up. and what always struck me about gingrich and we are all hesitant to say this is the final one but there is a time when you can have so many negatives and be so well known and the warts so obvious it is baked in the cake and it is not like you can hit him again with it right? >> the fascinating thing is he is playing his campaign incorrectly. he should play himself as the
insider, the person who knows how to do things shall the person who's been there and the person who -- >> that's what they think. >> exactly right. >> that's what they like about him. maybe he can -- he was there. >> and then the chance that he's flip flopped becomes different because it seems like he is a canny politician that knows what to do. romney, the problem is, they think that he's smart and they think he is capable. they just don't know what he believes. and that's what bothers me. >> very quickly he asked them on herman cain, what was your -- anything surprise you about what people thought? >> huge, a huge drop. people said, you know, he is unelectable. damaged goods. he was really, you kind of look at it and you see what is happening in the polls and it was reflected in this focus group. >> peter, you made an important point to the group of reporters that watched after saying just because mitt romney is not connecting doesn't mean he can be president of the united states. who did he remind you of in that respect? >> well, he was richard nixon. >> richard nixon '68. >> 1968.
a sense of competence, reassurance, and if the conditions are so bad and people feel out of sorts they may take somebody they don't personally like. >> newt gingrich even calls him a manager. i don't think he means it as a compliment. there is a lot to this. this is going to air on c-span over the weekend. >> it is. my promo. >> a must political junkie viewing. peter, mark, thank you both. up next a very familiar face on capitol hill is calling it quits. we'll tell you who. plus, al qaeda claims they're holding a 70-year-old american citizen hostage. what they're demanding in return for his release. the obama administration responds to the just released november jobs numbers. they can't do it by law until after 8:40. the new chairman of the council of economic advisers makes his debut. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the personal attention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve.
tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we ask the right questions, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 then we actually listen to the answers tdd# 1-800-345-2550 before giving you practical ideas you can act on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck online, on the phone, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of a pain free holiday. ♪ this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
here are the stories making headlines. al qaeda says it is holding a 70-year-old american aide worker warren weinstein who was kidnapped in pakistan in mid august days before he was to come home. the group says he won't be released until u.s. air strikes stop and al qaeda prisoners are freed. our own richard engel reported this morning that al qaeda may not have been the original kidnappers, that they essentially may have bought him from other kidnappers. the house has voted unanimously to name a capitol hill meeting room after gabriel zimmerman the aide to congressman giffords who was killed in january's attack. zimmerman is the first congressional staffer are killed in the line of duty. mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> that's bill livinggood house sergeant at arms and he was announcing of course the president before january's state of the union, a very familiar
voice. he says he will retire next january after 17 years on the job and 33 years in the secret service. we'll try to find out though does he have one more mr. speaker in him for the president's january state of the union? secretary of state hillary clinton is heading home after completing an historic trip to myanmar, the country formerly known as burma. secretary clinton spent the last leg of her trip visiting embassies and meeting with a nobel laureate and opposition leader who will be key to any sort of warming of u.s. relations with myanmar. nbc's kristen welker filed this report. >> reporter: secretary of state hillary clinton met with aung san suu kyi here at her home. this is the same place where aung san suu kyi was held as a political prisoner for nearly two decades until she was released just last year. the two women had dinner last night. this is the first time they have ever met in person. secretary clinton is here in myanmar to press government officials to create a more open and democratic society. >> democracy is the goal that
has been the goal from the very beginning. and yet we know that it has been a long, very difficult path. the united states wants to be a partner with burma. >> reporter: aung san suu kyi will be a key ally in that effort. she is the head of the pro dp x democracy opposition movement. secretary clinton heads home and leaves a new international focus on myanmar, the future of this country, its reforms, and its change will be a key test for the obama administration as it shifts its foreign policy focus to the asia pacific region. now back to you. >> all right. kristen welker. tough duty going around the world a couple times the last couple weeks. up next we're rounding out the week with our political panel and one programming note this sunday on nbc's "meet the press" david axelrod the chief strategist for president obama and rnc chairman reince priebus will be david gregory's guests.
at least it's a new one. wild rice vegetable and i like a little rice in my soup but i do want my soup to be soupy. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] lactaid milk is easy to digest. it's real milk full of calcium and vitamin d. and tastes simply delicious. for those of us with lactose intolerance... lactaid® milk. the original 100% lactose-free milk. they won't be beat. oh, actually... then i'd be like, you rule! and my kids would be like, you rule! i'd be like, yes, i do rule! ohh! that rules!
oh, load up the sleigh; this is going to be a great christmas. yeah. ring dinga-ding, ring dinga-ding, ring, ring, ring me up. [ male announcer ] no need to wait with our christmas price guarantee. we're so confident in our prices if you do find a lower one between now and christmas, we'll give you the difference on a walmart gift card. save money. live better. walmart.
for someone who claims he won't go after his republican rivals newt is managing to get in a few jabs. listen to this indirect dig at mitt romney in iowa last night. >> i'm not interested in distancing myself from romney. i am happy to be who i am. that distinguishes me from romney. it is not my job to be in the distinguishing business except barack obama. we're not going to get involved in answering attacks, not going to get involved in trying to compare ourselves with our friends. we'll let our friends run the campaigns they want to. i mean, if he puts his hand on my shoulder, you know, that might be different. >> so newt.
msnbc political analyst michelle bernard is president of the bernard center for women. politics and public policy. ruth and alissa the naleid itor of the associated press. we'll do a split panel, get our friend alan kruger in and come back. so newt versus mitt. you heard mitt romney was on this morning on fox. every day this week there's been the distraction, the shiny metal object that is herman cain but every day this week newt and romney have just turned up the volume a little bit on starting to engage. >> they've turned up the volume and it's really frankly quite interesting to watch the differences between the two of them. i actually afwrgree with newt gingrich when he says he doesn't have to focus on distinguishing himself. we know him. whether you like his policy or not there is something charismatic about newt gingrich particularly in comparison to mitt romney. i think right now mitt romney is in for the fight of his life because we constantly keep hearing from the electorate anybody but mitt romney.
>> but, ruth, i get this and if all of the primaries were in the next 60 days i would say newt gingrich is the favorite. >> absolutely. >> but over a six-month period there are two things. one is gingrich doesn't feel he has the discipline and, two, mitt romney is not going to throw in the towel. >> right. i think that's exactly right. they have exactly opposite problems. gingrich's problem is disciplining himself and being able to stay in for the long haul. it's not distinguishing himself -- >> that weird issue, talking about child labor laws? nobody is debating it. >> it's saying crazy, provocative stuff. >> the central idea is a good one which is put -- give kids a work ethic. but your stereotype of why you got there is something that is offensive. >> and take a bath and whatever. but romney's problem is exactly the opposite. it's not that he lacks self-discipline. it's that he has so much self-discipline that we have no idea who he is, where he is. >> you've done a lot of the
reporting on how romney is trying to figure out how to engage newt. they're trying the washington insider. they believe that's it. you heard our focus group. peter hart was amazed, now this was done in fairfax, virginia. i think there is a little more respect for washington insiders there so i'll put that asterisk on that. but being somebody who knows how the system works, but having been a history of being a change agent is not so bad for newt is it? >> no, not at all. you know, you have to look at what the electorate is looking for right now. this is a republican electorate that's looking for an outsider who is willing to take on obama aggressively. >> and neither can do both. >> when you put these two guys next to each other, neither one -- both of them are flawed in the eyes of the conservatives. they don't really fit that mold. and so i think it's actually going to come down to -- it could come down to the attack dog. who can go after obama the hardest? and -- because that is the other thing the base wants. they want somebody -- they liked herman cain.
herman cain was willing to say whatever it was that needed to go after obama. and on the rhetoric front, you know, newt has a history of -- >> and it is received well. >> it really is. >> michelle, ruth, liz, stick around. we'll have you back. don't forget your shameless plug. we'll also talk about the new unemployment report. but trivia, we ask, excluding the at-large districts, what is the largest congressional district by area? the answer? currently is nevada's second congressional district. that'll change after redistricting because they got a new one in nevada. the district is more than 105,000 square miles an area. it encompasses the entire state with the exception of the las vegas metropolitan area. that one district is bigger than all of michigan, minnesota, or utah. it would be the seventh largest geographic state in the country. we'll be right back. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ]
certainly look good on the surface. however, if you look at the number of new jobs created, there's just not enough new jobs being created in america. >> more than 300,000 americans left the labor force last month. that means they stopped looking for work. i think we should all be concerned about that. >> speaker boehner and leader canter giving the republican reaction to today's jobs report. the unemployment rate moved in a big direction in the president's favor but those hundreds of thousands of people who stopped looking for work also indicate that there is still a lot left to do. we have the chair of the council of economic advisers who took over in october. he joins me now. chairman, let me ask you a question based on what mark zandi said right at the top of my show. he called the report good, not great. fair description? >> i think what you want to do is look at this report in context. one month doesn't a new trend make.
what we're seeing is that the economy is gradually recovering from the very deep recession that started at the end of 2007. i think it's fortunate that congress passed the payroll tax cut and extended unemployment benefits last year with the president's urging. i think we're seeing the effects of those policies now. i think it's extremely important that they continue into the new year. >> but obviously the -- one of the reasons why mark zandi said it was good, not great, he was concerned about the 300,000 people that stopped looking. >> i think we need to be concerned that we're not seeing enough job growth. that job growth is not fast enough. we still have 13 million americans who are unemployed. that's unacceptable. i think we need to take steps to strengthen and sustain the recovery. i think in particular continuing the payroll tax cut, expanding it as the president has proposed, extending benefits would help in the new year. but when you look at the overall picture we're seeing gradual improvement and that's headed in
the right direction. >> when it comes to the payroll tax holiday extension and expansion, i had a democratic congressman on, western pennsylvania, one of those types of democrats that you need to have the support of to get these, it seemed that he believed there was enough money there that you could pay for the extension but paying for the expansion may be tough. would the administration simply accept the extension and put off the expansion? >> you know, the president made a proposal to cut the payroll tax in half in this coming year on employees and also on small businesses throughout the country and give more of an incentive for small businesses to add workers, help them with their cash flow problems. the president proposed a way to pay for this in the senate. the democrats came up with an alternative way which the president said he could support. i think that's sensible economic policy and, you know, my job is to give advice on sensible economic policy. that seems to me to be about the right medicine the economy could use right now to strengthen and
sustain the recovery. >> but it sounds like at a minimum you'll take the extension if you can't get the expansion? >> well, i can tell you as an economist if congress doesn't extend the payroll tax cut from last year, that will mean $1,000 tax increase on typical family earning about $50,000 a year next year. that will hit at an unfortunate time, early next year it would start just when people are paying off their credit card bills. it will be a drag on economic growth, slow down job growth if the payroll tax cut is not extended into next year. >> one thing i want to dip deep in the private sector employment numbers here. retail was up. it's supposed to be adjusted seasonally. business service is up. health care sector up. construction sector down. how concerned are you about that? >> the construction sector, particularly residential construction now, continues to be a soft spot in the economy.
this recovery is really unprecedented because typically the way recoveries go, you get a strong boost from homebuilding. but because of the economic nature of the crisis, because of the housing boom and then bust, we see very weak growth in residential construction. i think that's an area of the economy that continues to be a drag on the expansion, one of the reasons why it would be helpful to have more of a lift for domestic demand through both the payroll tax cut and extending employment benefits. >> we say all this and you have all that construction noise behind you with that forever and ever project that's taking place on the north lawn. alan krueger, thanks for coming on this morning. >> thank you, chuck. let's bring back the panel, construction-free zone here. the nbc parking lot has been a little crazy lately. >> and no fire alarm. >> no fire -- you know what? you want to jinx it, all right. the headline -- guys, the
headline is going to be unemployment rate falls from 9% to 8.6%. we've all seen everybody politically merging the reelection prospects. republicans -- i felt like cantor was stammering because it was like -- >> how can i possibly find a way to make this look bad. quite frankly, for anyone who watched congressman cantor's statement this morning as well as john boehner, you have to be sitting back and thinking, just stop it. the unemployment rate is finally declining. >> just say yay. >> say yay. but also being honest about what government can do to create new jobs and do it. stop arguing with one another, stop the hyperpartisanship. >> president obama has had -- their political people believe he's had some bad luck. today he gets this report.
and guess who he's touring a building with today? president clinton. there's your picture today that's going to make the evening newscasts all over, obama and bubba, arms around, unemployment rate falls, happy days are here again. >> and the president is going to say he's a comeback kid. one thing about eric cantor, good, not great as a technical matter, that's true because of what you talked about with the disappearance of people from the labor force. as a political matter, good, not great is something really good for the obama administration. >> these days. you and i work in a world that sometimes we allow expectations -- what we think is going to happen drive our coverage. boy, nothing -- that happens now all the time in the economic data world. >> sure. >> everybody said this jobs report, it's going to be a sluggish report, unemployment report is going to remain unchanged. this is a massive miss.
>> the critical thing politically to watch here is just how smartly the white house is playing this. they're not throwing up their hands and saying, oh, things are fixed, things are fixed. listen to what we just heard, right? it's very cautious. for them to do anything but be cautious would signal that they're out of touch with the fact that there are still, what, 12 million, 13 million americans out of jobs. >> we had what happened with the payroll tax and the back and forths on all this. something tells me in hearing jason altmire, we're going to get the extension but not the expansion. >> yeah. and i think that's problematic. both sides agree that we absolutely need both. you have to be saying -- >> nobody can figure out how to come up with it -- >> no one can figure out how to pay for it. but this is their job. if these are the people we're voting in, why can't they figure it out? what do we vote you in to do?
maybe people will say this job that they have should not be a vocation. >> i want to poll the 8% group at the top. i want to know who these people are. >> are we talking about payroll tax? >> yes. >> i would like to inject a note of grinchy caution here. i'd like to say the payroll tax holiday extended. but i would like to know when it's going to end. the senate voted to raise people's taxes. at what point are we going to not have politicians avoiding raising people's taxes? that's a big problem. it's 100 million xx, $160 million -- >> are you shocked there's demagoguery going on -- shameless plug time. >> campaign edwards is here.
>> i want to give a shoutout to the american board for the certification of teacher excellence. ingenious new way to create jobs for teachers in communities all across the country. >> ruth? >> "foreign policy" magazine, if you want an accessible way to learn about foreign policy, go to their website. they had a great event last night about the 100 global thinkers. >> my shoutout is to my cousin, josh, who becomes a man tomorrow. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." see you back monday. coming up next, chris jansing and company. and at 1:00, don't miss "andrea mitchell reports." just, just . ♪ what are you looking at? don't look up there. why are you looking up? ♪ get outta the car. get outta the car.
♪ are you ok? the... get in the car. get in the car! [ male announcer ] the epa estimated 42 mpg highway chevy cruze eco. from spending time together, to spending your lives together, chevy runs deep. gives you the lowest plan premium in the country... so you can focus on what really matters. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] get an aleve coupon in this sunday's paper.
congratulations. congratulations. today, the city of charlotte can use verizon technology to inspire businesses to conserve energy and monitor costs. making communities greener... congratulations. ... and buildings as valuable to the bottom line... whoa ! ... as the people inside them. congratulations. because when you add verizon to your company, you don't just add, you multiply. ♪ discover something new... verizon.